An NYSE Scalper's Tale - A Trader's Diary

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Self-Sabotaging Mentality

Gross: +$655.92
Net: +$455.49
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 109
Shares Traded: 186792

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Walmart (WMT): +$254.55
Corning (GLW): +$186.59
Home Depot (HD): +$58.13
General Electric (GE): +$32.96
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$11.46
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$2.48
EMC Corp (EMC): -$3.79
Motorola (MOT): -$11.58
AT&T (T): -$75.32

Did you notice it?

It seems like every time consistency begins appearing in my trading, I start complaining and whining. I complain that I don't make enough money and I start whining about how I need to do more to make more money.

And what usually ends up happening?

I start changing things to my trading plan and strategy and over the next few trading days, my profits begin to suffer. As this continues on for a few more trading days, I then start beating myself up for making mistake after mistake and I begin to mentally break-down.

Then over the next couple of trading days, I begin losing focus and my trading suffers even more until I force myself to stop, scrap my new plans and strategies, and then go back to the way I traded before.

It would then take a few more trading days just to get myself back in the right mindset again before consistency re-appears.

BUT, as soon as consistency appears or a string of good days appears, the vicious cycle starts all over again - I start complaining and whining once again.

Some of you have been following my blog for several months now and I'm sure that you folks are starting to see the same complaints, the same problems, and the same mistakes being repeated over and over again as the months roll by.

As a result, I never seem to achieve my goals and when I DO appear to achieve the next level in my trading, my mind thinks I could do better and as a result, I seem to chase unachievable goals. Even if I started making $1000 a day, my mind would probably be disappointed that I'm not making $2000 daily. And when I do make $2000 a day, my mind will be still disappointed because I'm not making $3000 a day.

And so, here I will make a stand. In reality I am actually quite happy if I make $500 daily and so I should see if I can maintain this for at least a month (in case you are wondering, I do not look at my P/L during the course of the day....well, ok maybe once during the lunch hour...). It just seems like everytime my eyes start swelling up with $ signs, that's when I start losing money.

What I've been doing in the past was that if I had a string of a few good trading days, I'd be disappointed that I was not making more and then I'd start making changes in the way I trade. When I start making changes, my trading begins to suffer and my mind begins to fill up with self-doubt until I cannot take it anymore and I go back to what I do best.

In yesterday's post, Stockroach left a comment and in it he stated "Keep doing what continues to work for you". I don't know why, but that single statement made a light bulb turn on in my mind and made me realize what I was doing - my mentality of always going for more was sabotaging my trading.

I also really appreciate the advice and suggestions that other readers leave - and don't think I'm ignoring your advice - in fact, it's far from it! Once I've got more stability in what I'm doing, I'll seriously consider what has been offered (so keep those suggestions coming!!).

Anyways, today I did what I know best - just scalped. I found that there wasn't much follow through on a lot of the moves made today, so I didn't take any big winners nor were there any big losers.

I'll try to post up my October overview either tomorrow or the day after (tonight I may be a little busy - I'm sure you all understand :-)).

Geez...for a moment there I was beginning to sound like a shrink....

Good Trades

Bad Trades


  • I have read your blog now for a couple months and I agree with what you are saying. You are a good trader and with consistency you will find that your $$ will increase. You have found your holy grail already - you don't need bigger size or longer hold times. Keep doing what you are doing and find satisfaction, stop looking for something else and execute.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 8:03 p.m.  

  • J.C,
    I am not going to write you any comment here. But I am clapping my hands now.
    Well done bro.
    I hope to get back trading and achieve the result like yours.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 8:15 p.m.  

  • Yep, I used to poo poo when trading people talked about psychology, what whimps.

    A big loss for this smartie pants turned on some of my light bulbs on that one.

    Good luck. (Laughing, rolling around) Hope that lesson doesn't cost anymore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 8:51 p.m.  

  • Good job JC.

    You have the skills to be long term successful. Become an absolute pro at what you do and the money will gladly follow you. Jack of all trades and a master of none does apply to trading.

    Become the Master! ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 9:00 p.m.  

  • JC,

    Great consistent profit.

    It reminded me the payout/payback cycle Bo Yoder described in his book and blog


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 9:42 p.m.  

  • Keep doing what you been doing JC. You are a great trader/scalper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2006 10:49 p.m.  

  • Anon@8:03PM,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea - I agree with you too...I keep thinking that there is something more and as a result I keep changing the way I work - unfortunately this usually leads to inconsistency which makes this extremely frustrating. I'll keep doing what I'm doing - thanks!

    :-) thanks! And welcome back from your trip - hopefully you enjoyed yourself and had some great eats! (I miss all that good stuff!)

    Hehehe - sometimes psychology is what's needed to figure things out - but for sure, hopefully I've learned my lesson and I won't lose as much money any more!

    Once again, thanks buddy! You have no idea how much all the commenting has helped me in the past to figure things out! Once again, thanks!

    Thanks for your comments. And thanks for the link too - I'll check it out!

    Thanks for your comments! I'll try to keep a level head in the new month ahead - let's see if I can continue with some consistency!

    Good trading to all in Novemeber!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 01, 2006 7:30 a.m.  

  • J.C.,

    I was looking for your email address but I can't find it on your blog. Mind if I contact you 'offline' to ask you a few basic questions.

    BTW, I love the site. Keep up the good info. Happy Trading!

    B (

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 01, 2006 10:48 a.m.  

  • What prop desk are you with, J.C. ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 01, 2006 6:03 p.m.  

  • Brant and Anon@6:03PM,

    Thanks for your comments!

    If you wish to contact me, you can email me at:

    Thanks and happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 01, 2006 7:10 p.m.  

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